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8 best home office desks that will transform your work set-up

These stylish workstations offer functionality and storage as well as design appeal

Ali Howard
Thursday 17 September 2020 09:20 BST
We put our best homeworking desks to the test, looking for top craftsmanship and quality of materials
We put our best homeworking desks to the test, looking for top craftsmanship and quality of materials (The Independent/iStock)

Little did we know the importance of a decent home office desk – until we were all working from home.

Since the pandemic and lockdown, we’ve had to become creative with setting up a workstation that both satisfies our nine-to-five needs and complements our existing decor. Indeed, a desk in the domestic sphere should earn its place on the design front, otherwise we’re simply recreating that clinical office look at home.

Finding the right desk, whether you’re setting it up in the bedroom, corner of the living room, or dedicated study space, can be a tall order with plenty to think about – from added storage to the appropriate seating that goes with it.

Think about size, shape and functionality. For some homeworkers, a paper-thin laptop is all that’s needed, while others are drowning in physical paperwork and will be thankful for integrated storage by way of drawers and shelves.

It’s well documented that a clean and well-organised desk comes with a wealth of stress-reducing, productivity-increasing benefits, so consider, too, the need to hide away cables to keep the look as clean-lined and clutter-free as possible.

We put our best homeworking desks to the test, looking for top craftsmanship and quality of materials along with ease of functionality given their daily, heavy use. We also weighed up affordability with space-saving properties.

Above all, though, we focused on the best designs on the market because, boring spreadsheets aside, a home desk should be a stylish furniture piece to feel proud of.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

John Lewis & Partners X frame desk, natural/green


Dimensions: H74cm x W135cm x D62cm

Just looking at this desk offers a sense of calm, thanks to its beautifully smooth pale wood and gently curved lines – it is a furniture piece that lends itself perfectly to clear-headed homeworking. One for fans of Scandi-minimalism, the stylish workstation is well-crafted from solid oak with veneers and has a lovely natural grain. We loved the contrast between the oak and the linoleum top in sage green, another borrow from nature’s palette. The X-framed desk doesn’t offer an enormous amount of storage but the handy side drawers are generously sized.

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West Elm Audrey desk


Dimensions: H75cm x W132cm x D61cm

Doubling up as a stylish console table is this glamorous but refined three-drawer desk. It’s ideal if your living room and workspace are interchangeable – there’s nothing office-like about this one. The body of the desk is made from lacquered engineered wood, and that’s supported by slender metal legs in an antique brass finish (read tasteful, not gaudy). We loved the textured geometric detailing on the front of the drawers – an understated nod to Art Deco design. And on the practical side, the deep drawers offer plenty of storage space and open and close with a pleasing, soft gliding action.

  1. £524 from West Elm
Prices may vary
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The verdict: Desks

John Lewis & Partners’ X frame desk got our vote for its top craftsmanship and materials, and its easy-on-the-eye design. It is on the pricier side but we think it’s well worth the investment given its daily use in our new home office set-up. Argos Home’s ladder office desk, on the other hand, offers an affordable workstation that also plays to the clean-lined Scandi trend, without breaking the bank.

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